Wanted: ethics reforms
Utahns in poll also support an independent redistricting panel
Senate Majority Leader Sheldon Killpack, R-Syracuse, said population shifts are, by far, the major factor in redrawing political boundaries. And, he wonders, is it worth all the effort and taxpayer money — an additional $1 million — to obtain boundary recommendations from a citizen group, only to see what that group produces and what legislators produce on their own so very much alike.
The leader of House Democrats, Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake, said the large poll numbers in favor of the two initiatives are a reflection "that the public doesn't trust" the Legislature to deal with some its own issues "fairly and in a nonpartisan manner."
"We have to restore the public's trust in us," said Litvack. He believes the redistricting initiative is solid and supports it. He said he hasn't studied the ethics initiative, and takes no stand on it yet. "But overall, doing some of the things in that (ethics) initiative are items we Democrats have supported before."
Some other poll results on the ethics initiative:
78 percent support banning legislators from giving themselves campaign funds.
80 percent favor keeping legislators from becoming a paid lobbyist for two years after leaving the House or Senate.
81 percent support banning all gifts to legislators from lobbyists, except for a "light refreshments."
74 percent favor limiting campaign contributions to legislators to $2,500 per individual and $5,000 per PAC.
56 percent support banning campaign donations from businesses, labor unions, and nonprofits.
Concerning the redistricting initiative:
43 percent say previous redistricting, done only by the Legislature, was "somewhat fair," 7 percent said it was "very fair," 15 percent said it was "not very fair," 14 percent said it was "not at all fair," and 21 percent didn't know if it was fair or not.
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